How to confirm your respirator is OK for wood working?

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Forum topic by dpoisson posted 12-02-2011 06:22 PM 904 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dpoisson's profile


190 posts in 2914 days

12-02-2011 06:22 PM

Hi folks, I have a respirator that I got a while back. I had originally bought it for when I use chemicals and other similar products. My shop has now been moved into the laundry room (don’t ask!!) and it’s a tight squeeze. When working on wood, it quickly fills up with dust. I was wondering if there is anything that I can check on my filters to ensure they can filter wood dust? My family has a history of bad lungs, so I don’t want to take any chances.

Ok ok, for those that MUST ask about my “shop” being in the laundry room. We finished up the basement (did the walls, floor and electricity) and my old shop was turned into a little room that houses our firewood for the winter. Soo…until we build a garage, I’m in the laundry room ;-/ It does bring up another point though. While I’m turning wood, I’m wearing my mask. But, the ceiling isn’t done yet, so wood dust can get out of the laundry room and onto the other rooms. I was thinking of installing a fan + filter and possibly using a plastic sheet to seal off the ceiling so dust can’t escape from the shop. How does that sound?

Edit: This is what I had in mind here



3 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17386 posts in 3006 days

#1 posted 12-02-2011 06:30 PM

your filters are probably good for the dust if they were intended for chemical. As far as the dust situation a bit of poly on the ceiling wouldnt hurt but i doubt a ton would get sucked up into the floor above. Try using a box fan with a furnace filater attached to it, quick and cheap dust collection.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View jmos's profile


827 posts in 2369 days

#2 posted 12-02-2011 07:30 PM

What type of respirator do you have? Does it have removable cartridges? If so take them off, they should be labeled (or sometimes color coded) and many are dual purpose – chemical and dust. If they just have a number or color code you should be able to do an internet search and find out what they are rated for.

I would imagine even a straight chemical cartridge (whatever type) would offer some protection, but it may load up very quickly and might not filter small particles. A dust/particulate filter would be designed with pleats to provide more surface area allowing it to handle more dust loading.

-- John

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2475 days

#3 posted 12-16-2011 02:31 AM

As jmos said you should reference the filter you are using to insure the dust/particulate rating.

Additionally cr1 noted a fit test. Today the industry uses computers hoked up to different style, manufacturer, and size respirators. When working an 8 to 16 hr shift for days or years a proper fit helps to maximize protection.

Pulmonary function tests are given along with blood pressure, pulse, med history, to insure that you can work with the added strain the respirator could put on your body.

Also note that the respirator cartridge needs to be changed periodically, the dirtier they get the harder to breathe.

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